Is Adar A Fallen Elf? Could He Be Sauron?

Warning: spoilers ahead for The Rings of Power episode 4Who is Adar in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, and more importantly, what is he? Sauron may provide Amazon’s The Rings of Power with its overarching threat lurking in the background, but since the Dark Lord is still hiding, lead antagonist duties fall instead to Joseph Mawle’s Adar. After his name and silhouette were teased in episode 3, Adar finally makes his entrance proper in The Rings of Power episode 4, looking like he came straight to the Southlands from a Sisters of Mercy concert. Making his presence felt sparingly, Adar shares a conversation with Arondir before letting the elf go with a message for the Southlanders – join him or die.


The Rings of Power has barely revealed anything about Adar’s history, motivations and abilities, while his status as a TV-original character means J.R.R. Tolkien’s books are no help. Adar is leading Middle-earth’s Orcs in Sauron’s absence, has invaded the Southlands as instructed by Sauron’s map-shaped mark, and is seeking the strange black sword hilt currently in Theo’s possession. Beyond those scant biographical details, Adar remains a total enigma.

Given both his status as The Rings of Power‘s big bad and his spiky black armor, audiences will understandably wonder whether Adar is Sauron by another name. This seems unlikely after The Rings of Power episode 4, as not only does Adar admit he lacks the power of a god, Waldreg tells Theo that Sauron fell from the sky as a meteor several nights prior. Although it’s possible Adar is a weakened version of Sauron who hasn’t yet recovered his full power, Joseph Mawle’s character is more likely a follower of the Dark Lord than the man himself. The Rings of Power‘s scene between Adar and Arondir actually leans more toward the villain being a fallen elf. Arondir is surprised by his enemy’s fair(ish) appearance and pointy ears, as well as his ability to speak the Elven tongue. Adar also shares Arondir’s memories of Beleriand, which was mostly populated by the Elves during The Lord of the Rings‘ First Age. Dark elves exist within Tolkien mythology – most notably Maeglin, who conspired with Morgoth but was not a follower. If Adar is (or was) an elf, he would immediately be known as the most villainous of his kind in The Lord of the Rings history.

Why Adar’s Name Could Reveal His Rings Of Power Identity

Adar is the Elvish word for “father,” and when Arondir curiously questions why his captor’s orc-soldiers use such a title, no reply is given. This is incredibly frustrating, since Adar’s name could actually be the key to unlocking his entire backstory. The Orcs were first created by Morgoth, who magically twisted imprisoned elves into becoming his foul soldiers before the First Age. Adar is possibly one of these original orcs (hence why he retains those elvish good looks) from which later generations were spawned. The lesser Orcs may call Adar “father” because they’re descended from his blood.

Alternatively, Adar could simply be a fallen elf who somehow replicated Morgoth’s biological elf-meddling to turn members of his own species into soldiers for Sauron. The experimentation chamber Galadriel discovered in Forodwaith during The Rings of Power episode 1 supports this theory, and is perhaps where Adar learned how to manufacture an elf from an orc. That would also neatly explain why so many orcs are still alive during the Second Age, despite the Elves believing Morgoth’s nasty-smelling army died out after the War of Wrath – Adar has been quietly making more of them in the background.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power continues Thursday/Friday on Prime Video.

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